Nate Wolters: 5 NCAA Tournament Predictions for South Dakota State Star

Rob GoldbergFeatured ColumnistMarch 15, 2012

The average college basketball fan does not know Nate Wolters, but by the end of the day, everyone will be a fan of the South Dakota State guard.

On a stage where the small schools jump into the spotlight, here are five things that Wolters can accomplish in this tournament.


1. He will lead the opening round in points scored.

After averaging 21.3 points per game this season, Wolters will need to put everything on the line against Baylor. Expect the junior to take over 20 shots as his team will look to its best player as time runs out.

The only player in the tournament who has averaged more points per game is Creighton's Doug McDermott, but he will face a tougher defense in Alabama in the round of 64.


2. He will fill up the box score.

With all due respect to the rest of the Jackrabbits, this is as close to a one-man team as any in the nation.

Wolters finished the regular season leading the team in points, rebounds, assists, steals and free-throw shooting. His only negative this season has been three-point shooting, although he shot over 40 percent during his sophomore year.

The NCAA tournament will be the time for him to show his well-rounded game.


3. South Dakota State will have the biggest upset of the tournament.

Baylor has a lot of talent, but the team is very inconsistent. The squad is dependent on Perry Jones III, and he has disappeared in big games this season.

If Wolters gets hot as well as the rest of the team, do not be surprised to see the 14-seed move on to the next round.


4. Nate Wolters will become a household name.

America loves the small-school player who upsets the major conference team. From Bryce Drew to Jimmer Fredette, players have become legends on the March Madness stage.

Wolters could be next in line if his team is able to complete the upset.


5. The Jackrabbits will not make the Sweet 16, but the team will be dangerous next season.

UNLV is not a better team than Baylor, but the Rebels are more consistent. South Dakota State is most likely not deep enough to pull off two major upsets.

However, Wolters is only a junior. He could come back for the 2013 tournament more experienced and ready to go on an even deeper run towards the Elite Eight and beyond.